Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section 480m south east of Stowfield Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Lydbrook, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8521 / 51°51'7"N

Longitude: -2.5937 / 2°35'37"W

OS Eastings: 359204.534584

OS Northings: 217219.761342

OS Grid: SO592172

Mapcode National: GBR FR.TF8B

Mapcode Global: VH86Q.0Q52

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section 480m south east of Stowfield Farm

Scheduled Date: 25 September 1935

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020468

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33442

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Lydbrook

Built-Up Area: Lydbrook

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: English Bicknor St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a section of Offa's
Dyke 480m south east of Stowfield Farm. Offa's Dyke generally consists of
a bank up to 3.5m high with an intermittent ditch to the west and quarry
ditches to the east. In places Offa's Dyke was strengthened by additional
earthworks, namely a berm between the bank and ditch, and a counterscarp bank
on the western lip of the ditch.
In this section the Dyke turns from its usual alignment to run for some 63m
south east-north west, parallel with the course of the River Wye. It is
visible as a bank with quarry pits to the south. The bank is between 3m and
11m wide at its base and stands to 1.2m high. The quarry pits are between 3m
and 5m wide and up to 1m deep. To the south east, the line of the Dyke appears
to have been destroyed by later quarrying. A road has been cut through the
line of the monument at the western extent of the section. This is believed to
have been a relatively recent addition and is not thought to represent the
site of an original crossing point through the Dyke. Because of this, and the
evident destruction of the remains here, this area is not included in the
All fence and gate posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Offa's Dyke is the longest linear earthwork in Britain, approximately 220km,
running from Treuddyn, near Mold, to Sedbury on the Severn estuary. It was
constructed towards the end of the eighth century AD by the Mercian king Offa,
and is believed to have formed a long-lived territorial, and possibly
defensive, boundary between the Saxon kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh
The Dyke is not continuous and consists of a number of discrete lengths
separated by gaps of up to 23km. It is clear from the nature of certain
sections that differences in the scale and character of adjoining portions
were the result of separate gangs being employed on different lengths. Where
possible, natural topographic features such as slopes or rivers were utilised,
and the form of Offa's Dyke is therefore clearly related to the topography.
Along most of its length it consists of a bank with a ditch to the west.
Excavation has indicated that at least some lengths of the bank had a vertical
outer face of either laid stonework or turf revetment. The ditch generally
seems to have been used to provide most of the bank material, although there
is also evidence in some locations of shallow quarries. In places, a berm
divides the bank and ditch, and a counterscarp bank may be present on the lip
of the ditch.
Offa's Dyke now survives in various states of preservation in the form of
earthworks and, where sections have been levelled and infilled, as buried
features. Although some sections of the frontier system no longer survive
visibly, sufficient evidence does exist for its position to be accurately
identified throughout most of its length. In view of its contribution towards
the study of early medieval territorial patterns, all sections of Offa's Dyke
exhibiting significant archaeological remains are considered worthy of

The section of Offa's Dyke 480m south east of Stowfield Farm survives
well. The bank will have preserved part of the original ground surface,
predating the construction of the monument and, along with the quarries
will contain environmental evidence in the form of organic remains which
will relate both to the Dyke and to the landscape within which it was
constructed. The bank will also contain evidence relating to the methods
of construction of the monument and the building materials used.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hoyle, J, Vallender, J, Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire: Management Survay, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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